There’s no question that 2013 has been a developing year in fashion and style. Who would have even thought this time, last year, we would be sporting leather jogging pants or long sleeve tees that have an abundance of cartoonish icons slapped onto them? From the OG brands of streetwear to the brands making a name for themselves, 2013 was a great place for brands to develop their personal tastes as well as collaborate with others to push each other towards some excellent product.
From Stussy to Undefeated to Bape to HUF, streetwear brands have made their mark this year by showing consistency in the game as well as growth and the ability to keep up with the latest trends and stay relevant. It’s hard to establish your name into the game and get to the top, but it’s even harder to stay on top. So this is a shout out to the brands who have stayed consistent.
SSUR will get a shout out on this top ten because Russ has been in the game for quite some time, and has continuously kept his OG status in streetwear. SSUR has collaborated with many brands this year such as Been Trill and The Hundreds, but I’m not about to praise the brand and buy its merchandise any time soon. His brand name is his name backwards, and LUCKILY it worked out that way. (I can’t call a brand ‘Anitsirhc’.) However, keep up the good work SSUR.
I’ve always been a fan of BAPE, and this year hasn’t been an exception. Even after losing founder Nigo, the creativity is still flowing. Whenever I want to think of the perfect artificial camouflage, I instantly think of the Bathing Ape. The “Very Ape” collection did have me chuckling, though, and I realized that other people were making the same comments that I was. “Very Ape” sounds like BAPE’s new collection was influenced by Doge, the meme. Hahahaha. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, where have you been?!
8. Crooks & Castles
Crooks will definitely make it on this list because it has offered some fantastic streetwear for women this year. They’ve done very well for themselves in 2013, opening up stores on Fairfax as well as in Hawaii. From harem pants to leggings to shirts that fit large enough to be oversized and cute but not in an uncomfortable boxy way, and give you a shape without giving you a shape (ladies you know what I’m talking about), Crooks & Castles has made me feel like a queen with all the options offered, and the prices are a steal…
Steal is to Crooks as Queen is to Castles? No? Been a little while since we’ve had to work on analogies. Alrighty then.
7. Been Trill
There’s no doubt that Been Trill has made its mark on streetwear this year, with its simplicity in design as well as easy accessibility to all consumers. They have collaborated with Brands such as SSUR, Hood by Air, and Diamond, as well as have been sported by celebs like Kanye West and A$AP Rocky. However, whenever I see anyone in anything #trill, I can’t help but roll my eyes.
Seriously, I can’t help it. I heard about it first from the guy I was dating; he kept sending me pictures and photoshopping#beentrill all up on the pictures and I really didn’t know how to respond to the photos so I just said ‘ok’ or ‘cool’. Then one day he showed me his new white long sleeve by Been Trill and asked me if I liked it. I said ‘no’. It was a really great conversation, lots of insight.
I have come up with the process of how they design their clothes:
Someone went onto Tumblr and typed in ‘hypebeast’, then took everything they saw, seasoned it with hash tags, pan fried it on low heat to make sure that all the hype culture and trends would marinate into it until it was medium rare, ate it quickly, and then vomited it onto a shirt.
However, I will give the brand the benefit of the doubt in hopes that the design is ultimately satirical; perhaps it is blatantly spitting out everything we as sad American consumers think is trendy and placing them as strategically on a shirt as a child would place a piece of Clip Art onto Paint.
*drops the mic*
*picks up the mic to finish the article*
I don’t hate the brand. I think I’m just bitter because I could probably make clothes very similar to these… yet I’m still in college working on a degree that may or may not get me far in life. It’s #beenreal.
When I first heard of Pyrex, I was less than amused with the fact that the items were printed on Champion blanks with mark-up that was off the charts. Of course I scoffed and rolled my eyes; hypebeasts will be hypebeasts and the streetwear economy will keep on booming and bustling as a result of the hypeconsumers. However, Pyrex not only made its mark by becoming a luxury streetwear brand, but it also got the ball rolling with the jersey trend and the idea that less…really is more, as we started to see many brands influence as well as become influenced by the look.
Undefeated was another brand that has kept its consistency strong during the year. I’ve always appreciated the clean stylings of Undefeated, and I guess I’ll just let it go that they collaborated with Been Trill, producing a tee with hashtags and tally marks. Sigh. The brand does well by blending in the patterns that are popular (camo, polka dots, leopard, etc.) and making it their own, which is definitely a difficult thing to do these days. I remember when the only people who wore camo were soldiers, and when polka dots were only found on an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow bikini. Remember when guys didn’t wear floral? Neither do I…
I personally enjoy UNIF clothing, especially on those days when I don’t feel like talking to people, which happens more often then not. If there was ever a brand to truly tell you how it feels about you, UNIF would be the one. UNIF deserves a spot on this list simply because it was originally made for grunge looks and women. However, they stepped up their game and have understood the influences of trends in style, parlaying their bluntness to create their own twist on the trends everyone has been using. For example, everyone decided this year that jersey prints were in. Slap a name and a number onto a shirt and boom, you’re a fashionista. UNIF takes things to the next level, with their clever puns and subtle (or not so subtle) devilish references.
UNIF has totally bridged the gap between the grunge/hip/UO/NastyGal type of look with the streetwear styles of MissKL. You go Glen Coco.
3. Hood By Air
Congratulations, HBA. You have made it to the big leagues, to the luxury line, to Barneys New York. Somehow, you have surpassed your colleagues and rivals and made it to the big show. Somehow, a black shirt with white lettering is being sold for more money than I make in a year. (I don’t make any money so shh #yolo.) Oh I see you added color? Is it red? Your brand is now red, black, and white? Ah, the colors of my high school, and many others. Ground breaking, really.
Don’t get me started on HBA. Yes, sure, I enjoy the simplicity. I really do. I love blaqq, I wear it all day every day. But this is becoming a luxury brand? IS THIS COUTURE? I’m confused. Sigh. Good job though, Barneys New York, holler.
Jeff Staple and company, you’ve done a fantastic job this year. Keeping it classy and fresh, I thoroughly enjoy any brand that can get a guy to want to throw on a clean button up. The patterns are wonderful, ranging from bright paisley designs to neutral polka dots and such. Staple has produced clean lines and collections, staying true to their own style while simultaneously noticing the trends happening around them, considering them, and producing consumer friendly designs. Also, Staple doesn’t forget the ladies, which is a great plus.
Staple is the kind of brand that makes me want to find a boyfriend with terrible style but a lovely face and frame (and personality) so I can turn him from a Steve Urkel into a Stefan. But really though, Staple clothing makes me want to treat him really nicely, and buy him all these nice things.
And yes, that was a Fergalicious reference.
Consistency is key and Supreme hasn’t let us down just yet, keeping its name prominent in the streetwear game this year. Showing its versatility, the gear has stayed true to its simple graphic tees as well as branched out into developing more high fashion friendly merchandise. We can’t forget to mention the excellent collaborations they have made this year with brands such as Timberland, Levi’s, North Face, Vans, and Nike, just to name a few. When you think of streetwear these days, you’ll think of Supreme. They do simplicity right, they do patterns right, they do the whole minimalist thing on point. And who could forget the whole Barbara Kruger incident, calling everyone in the whole fashion industry out, referring to those involved as “a clusterf*ck of totally uncool jokers.” She teaches currently at UCLA, and after having read that statement, it felt great to be a Bruin.
I’m sure I may have left a few brands out here or there, but that doesn’t mean that they should not try just as hard to get onto my list, which is probably the most important list there is. Keep on working hard.
As 2013 winds down, we can only imagine what brands will be popping out in the year that is approaching us quickly. Who knows what’ll happen. I can only hope for something not dumb and inexpensive…because I’m a poor college student. Three cheers to 2014! Hype, hype, hooray!